The Collector's Apprentice (Compact Disc)

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The Collector's Apprentice Cover Image
By B. A. Shapiro, Xe Sands (Narrated by)
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Staff Reviews

What a fun romp! Heiresses, con men, millionaires, and the most famous artists and literati of 1920s Paris converge in one delightful novel. B A Shapiro takes for her subject the real-life Albert Barnes of Philadelphia whose peerless art collection became controversial for its modern sensibilities, and drapes layers of scandal and mystery over the historical scaffolding. Readers will rub shoulders with luminaries such as Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse, all while learning the most fascinating tidbits of early 20th century art history. It’s the perfect novel for readers of Tracy Chevalier, Paula McClain, and Kristin Hannah. 

— Emily

November 2018 Indie Next List

“What enormous fun Barbara Shapiro had in constructing this mini-universe of arts, artists, collectors, and grifters. Loosely based on Barnes Foundation founder Albert C. Barnes and his assistant, Shapiro’s fictional pair — Edwin Bradley, the collector, and the lovely but unlucky Paulien Mertens — flit from Europe to Pennsylvania and back in the 1920s. The joy of The Collector’s Apprentice is infectious as the reader is introduced to the salon of Gertrude Stein and becomes a voyeur of a passionate affair involving the great philanderer Henri Matisse. The Roaring Twenties, a whiff of the Talented Mr. Ripley, and a pinch of sex, murder, and mystery are the ingredients of this art thriller. With her bold brush strokes and vivid colors, Shapiro has created a Gauguin of a novel.”
— Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT


It's the summer of 1922, and nineteen-year-old Paulien Mertens finds herself in Paris-broke, disowned, and completely alone. Everyone in Belgium, including her own family, believes she stole millions in a sophisticated con game perpetrated by her then-fiance, George Everard. To protect herself from the law and the wrath of those who lost everything, she creates a new identity, a Frenchwoman named Vivienne Gregsby, and sets out to recover her father's art collection, prove her innocence-and exact revenge on George. When the eccentric and wealthy American art collector Edwin Bradley, who is based on real life museum founder Albert Barnes, offers Vivienne the perfect job, she is soon caught up in the Parisian world of post-Impressionists and expatriates-including Gertrude Stein and Henri Matisse, with whom Vivienne becomes romantically entwined. As she travels between Paris and Philadelphia, where Bradley is building an art museum, her life becomes even more complicated: George returns with unclear motives . . . and then Vivienne is arrested for Bradley's murder. B. A. Shapiro has made the historical art thriller her own. In The Collector's Apprentice, she gives us an unforgettable tale about the lengths to which people will go for their obsession, whether it be art, money, love, or vengeance.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781684416462
ISBN-10: 1684416469
Publisher: HighBridge Audio
Publication Date: October 16th, 2018
Language: English

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